Opening Ceremony of the Digital Community School Attended by Special Guests
Months of hard work of the education and wellness team culminated in the opening of the Digital Community School (DCS) at Banjaron ki Dhani, Kishangarh in the presence of Barefoot College International’s (BCI)’s founder Bhagwat Nandan Ji (Guru Ji). The District Collector, Shri Ansh Deep graced the opening ceremony. With him in attendance were the MLA Shri Suresh Tank and Sub Divisional Magistrate Shri Parsaram, Tehsildar Shri Arvind, and Education Officer Shri Bunkar.
The core team members and teachers of the school presented the district collector with BCI’s in-house designed Sustainability & Life Skills Curriculum. He was impressed with the capacity of the curriculum to bring digital education and leadership-building skills to rural children in the most effective manner. Programs within the curriculum include for example Digital Citizenship, Climate Leadership, Health, Nutrition, Gender Equity and WASH.
The members of the community also praised the collaborative initiative where they will be able to play an active part in their child’s education. The “Parents in Education” is an integral part of the curriculum where parents would also be part of workshops and critical discussions so that they can support the children in their learning journey. The entire community’s cooperation helps this curriculum to thrive and ripple its benefits across families.
Fostering Digital Literacy in Marginalized Communities
Our co-created vision for the children of these digital community schools is that they become literate, technologically proficient and able to think, speak, and act with confidence toward intersectional climate and sustainability leadership. Not only will the approach bridge the digital divide that the rural communities face but encourage the students to become “content creators rather than only “content consumers” – where the children use the digital tools to share about culture, art and heritage, their journeys, things they are passionate about, highlight issues of their communities and advocate for changes.
For example, the students of the new Kishangarh School acted in a play for this year’s Teacher’s Day (Monday, September 5th) that addressed a child’s Right to Education. The protagonist, a girl from a marginalized caste, challenges a so-called upper caste village on their monopoly on education. She expresses her right to receive the same level of education, questioning the casteist and patriarchal traditions that often undermine this level of equity.
Plays are an excellent interactive way for children to learn and share ideas. They are a powerful tool for communication and an easy way to encourage students to express themselves. It is our hope that our curriculum shapes young minds positively, helping them to empower themselves.
Co-creating Impact in the Digital Community Schools
The Digital Community School at Banjaron ki Dhani is our 13th school to open. Barefoot College International intends to create a deep-rooted impact in the learning journeys of these children through long-term community-led initiatives. We hope that through our collaborative effort, the children would be able to build agency and aspirations and take informed decisions about their future.
If you would like to support this initiative, please visit our Donation Page to donate and discover other ways that you can contribute.